Super Bowl 50 halftime show: Will Bruno Mars join Coldplay and Beyoncé?

How often does mixing genres and eras of music work for the Super Bowl?

Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP
Coldplay performs at the iTunes Festival during the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas in 2014.

Will singer Bruno Mars also take the stage during the Super Bowl halftime show? 

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, whose band is set to perform along with singer Beyoncé during the telecast on Feb. 7, recently mentioned Mars during a video about the upcoming show.

Martin says he could see traces of Beyoncé on the stage. 

"This may be Beyoncé's footprint," Martin said jokingly, according to CBS News, the network where the Super Bowl will air. "I'd say she was here about four hours ago. Let's look for a Bruno one.” 

Pepsi had previously told the Associated Press that Beyoncé would be taking the stage for the show, and some outlets had reported that Mars would be part of the program as well. 

Beyoncé performed during the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show, while Mars performed in 2014. 

Mixing acts and genres for the Super Bowl is nothing new. 

Pop music shows are a relatively recent phenomenon in Super Bowl history. Marching bands – and even ice skaters, in 1992 – were more often headliners for the show.

But in the early ‘90s, that began to change, with the band New Kids on the Block performing in 1991 and superstar Michael Jackson taking the stage in 1993. More shows that we might find odd today, like 1995’s “Indiana Jones”-themed show, followed, but increasingly, big performers like Christina Aguilera, Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, and U2 began to sign on. 

Why are multiple acts like Coldplay, Beyoncé, and possibly Mars brought on for a single show? 

Appealing to multiple demographics: Coldplay and Beyoncé, for example, may attract different audiences.

“It's worth noting that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been around forever (since 1983) compared to Mars,” Ad Age writer Simon Dumenco wrote when Mars and the Peppers were set to take the stage together in 2014. “Frontman Anthony Kiedis, 51, is literally old enough to be Mars' dad.... the NFL is clearly expecting the band to add a dose of testosterone to balance out Mars' heartfelt, mom-friendly crooning.”

So does bringing disparate acts together really work?

Last year seems to have worked in terms of attracting different demographics, with pop star Katy Perry, rock artist Lenny Kravitz, and rapper Missy Elliott performing in the most-watched halftime show ever.

When pop star Mars and rock act the Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage in 2014, they set the record for viewership for a halftime show that would then be broken by Perry. 

These seemingly different pairings, at least, seemed to bring in viewers. 

The halftime show's popularity may also benefit from the increasing ratings for the Super Bowl. Last year’s Super Bowl became the highest-rated telecast in American history. The previous record was set with the 2014 game. 

Ratings are one way to judge a show's success. Another is boosted record sales after the show. After the 2015 Super Bowl, Billboard writer Keith Caulfield wrote, “Thanks to Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime show, both she and guest star Missy Elliott earned some sizzling sales gains… Elliot, meanwhile, tallied a whopping 996 percent rise.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to